Glücksbringer (lucky charms), do they really bring luck?


When we discuss lucky charms in class, the Americans agree that the rabbit’s foot represents good luck in their culture. We Chinese as the descendant of dragons believe that dragon related things can bring us good luck. How about the Germans? How many Glücksbringer, namely German talismans have you heard of? Schornsteinfeger, Glückspfennig, Vierblättriges Kleeblatt, Marienkäfer, Hufeisen, Glücksschwein? Can you recognize them in the pictures above?


Vierblättriges Kleeblatt (four leaves clover) might be the most known lucky charm in western culture especially in European culture. Clover with three leaves can be found everywhere. But four-leaf- clovers is very rare. If you’re lucky enough, you might find one among thousands of 3-leaf-clovers.


In German, there is an expression “Ich habe Schwein gehabt”, which means “I had good luck”. The pig in German culture associates with luck. And the popularity of “Sparschwein” (piggy bank) somehow proves that people might think it’s true. Why piggy bank, why not doggy bank or squirrel bank? Maybe people do think that the piggy bank can keep money better than dogs or squirrels.

Source: miketually @ flicker

Among the talismans in German culture, I think the Hufeisen (horseshoe) is the most interesting. You have to hang it on the door with the ends pointing upwards not downwards. Then it looks like a storage container could store good lucks.

However, do you really believe that luck charms have the magic power and can bring you good luck? Actually, I don’t believe so. We can’t count on these untouchable good lucks. Money is earned but not given by the lucky piggy bank. Bad accidents would also happen even with a horseshoe hanging on the door. Dragons actually don’t exist, nevertheless, I still wear a dragon pedant. It doesn’t hurt to have them around in your life.

One thought on “Glücksbringer (lucky charms), do they really bring luck?

  1. I come from France, where the most famous lucky charms are Vierblättriges Kleeblatt and Hufeisen as well.
    I don’t believe that the lucky charms actually bring luck. I think it can be funny to have lucky charms, if we don’t take them seriously. One has to know that is doesn’t “work”: these objects are only simple things, without any magic power. The only power they bring is the “psychological power”: if we believe we will be lucky, there is more chance that we will actually be…but this is only psychological.
    There are also a number of “Unglücksbringer” in the European culture. In France, the most famous one is the black cat. I don’t know about Germany and the USA…

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